Nepal is set to import additional 80MW electricity from India through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line from February 16.
With the work to install transmission towers on the Nepali side completed, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is gearing up to make the transmission line functional at the earliest. “We will start charging the transmission line on the Nepal side by February 7 or 8,” Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma said. “The formal exchange of electricity will begin from mid-February.”
A meeting of the Joint Steering Committee of energy secretaries of Nepal and India in Kathmandu on Friday has agreed that Nepal will import additional 80MW energy within next three weeks.
Indian Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Pujari informed that the Indian side will start charging the transmission line on their side from Saturday. According to Pujari, the Nepali side should work on upgrading the transmission line to 400kV capacity to get optimum benefit from the interconnectivity.
The Joint Steering Committee meeting also discussed the possibility of importing additional 200MW energy through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line within the next winter season and agreed to make the project functional by December 2017.
As infrastructure on the Nepali side can only evacuate power through 132kV transmission line, both the countries will be charging the transmission lines on their sides at the same capacity.
“We have asked the Nepali authorities to boost infrastructure. Ultimately this line needs to be upgraded,” Pujari said.
Work to install five transmission line towers was stalled in Dhanusha and Mahottari districts due to protests in the Tarai plains.
Once Nepal starts importing additional energy, it is expected that the ongoing power outage will be reduced by two hours, according to NEA officials. During Friday’s meeting, the two neighbours also agreed to work together to complete the construction of Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur 132kV cross-border transmission lines within September 2016. Nepal can import another 100MW energy through the transmission line.
According to Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, it is possible for Nepal to import around 940MW energy from India by 2017 if both the governments expedited the development of transmission lines. “We (India) are committed to doing everything we can,” Rae said.
Source: The Kathmandu Post